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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 16, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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thank you, lawrence. appreciate it. thanks to you at home for tuning in. tonight we have my exclusive and extensive interview with the lightning rod of the obama administration. our nation's secretary of the treasury tim geithner. in the interview the secretary opens up about what wasn't done by him and others to prevent america's financial meltdown. also this hour, a fact-checking revisitation of last night's guest, conservative former congressman j.d. hayworth. that is going to be fun. and yet another round of inexplicable photos of russian prime minister vladimir putin. that's all coming up this hour. we begin with national drive in a circle and honk day. today was national drive in a circle and honk day. they are headed by a long time they are the corporate funded fake grass-roots organization headed by tim phillips.
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you may recognize him, because he has been a guest on this show a few times. americans for prosperity has organized a lot of the opposition to health reform. they are the big, bloody hand print people, you may remember, with the speaker who said health care reform is like pol pot and the nazi holocaust all in one. that strategy doesn't work. health reform looks due to pass shortly. so tim phillips' group resorted to a national drive around in a circle and honk. next year's protest scratching your nails on a chalkboard to protest cap and trade. health care reform is about to pass. which for all the clamor about it is a huge political victory for the democratic party in one way or another presidents have been trying since world war ii for health care reform. generation after generation, the system has become more and more unsustainable. health costs account for one in every six dollars spent in our economy.
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that is dollars spent on anything. but no one has been able to try to do anything to fix this problem. nobody has been able to get this close to fixing the problem until now. passing health care reform is going to be a landmark moment for the democratic party. say it with me now, everybody freak out. those opposed to democrats pulling off this political feat drove around in circles and honked today. they held a tea party on capitol hill though only a few hundred people showed up. what that group lacked in numbers they made up for in exclamation points. >> i don't want to make you sick but i brought an abortion to show you. >> there is a lot of deeming going on. there are a lot of demons around here apparently. >> congressman louie gohmert. from texas. unclear, to be fair, if the
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demons are the same as the abortion he says he brought with him or a separate matter from the abortion he says he brought with him. unclear. unclear but emphatic, which is the way to understand what is happening to the opposition to health reform now. today at national republican congressional committee headquarters, republican leaders gathered to promote their red alert campaign to re-energize the opposition to health reform. >> we want americans to go to code red. understand we have to put all the pressure we can on these wavering democrats to make sure this bill never, ever, ever happens. >> go to code red. here's the problem with the code red strategy. even as republicans are calling for pressure on democrats to vote no on health reform since they have locked up all the republican votes already, republicans at the same time are admitting even if any democrats do what they say and vote "no" on health reform, republicans are promising to attack those democrats on health reform.
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so, in other words, there is no incentive at all, no reason at all for any democrats to go along with republican efforts to get them to vote no on health reform. either way republicans are promising to still attack them. democrats' only choice on this issue is whether they would like a record of historic achievement to stand on when responding to those inevitable attacks. joining us is new york congressman anthony wiener. thanks for coming by. nice to see you. >> my pleasure. thanks. the l.a. times today had a story for people under 65, who don't yet qualify for medicare, one in four californians are uninsured. if you look at just 18 to 64 closer to one in three. i'm a native of california. that number blows me away. can you tell me this long national nightmare is finally going to be over sometime soon? >> the important thing to remember about those statistics. is all those people are getting health care in a terribly
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inefficient way, and if they slip and fall or get hit by a bus or get h1n1 flu, they are going to hospital emergency rooms. >> or going bankrupt trying to pay the bill. >> that's exactly right. it's have a drain on society, but what you said about the republican thrust is exactly the conversation going on with wavering members of the house. we are saying to them, look, you are going to get beaten up on health care whether you vote yes or no. the difference is, if you vote no and this bill goes down they are going to keep making stuff up. if it passes you are defending an actual thing. we have compromised a great deal. i've talked to you a thousand times about the things i would have liked to have different, but it comes down to whether or not we will allow more and more people to lose their health insurance. where else we will get a fight? if you look at the last ten years, incomes for people have been flat, because every dime employers have are going into health benefits.
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so we are not getting raises and and the economy is at a standstill. hopefully when we cast this vote saturday or sunday, whenever it will be, we will finally on the road to solving this problem. >> saturday or sunday. what can you tell us about the schedule of what happens next? what to watch for? >> i'm taking see siena plus four in their first game. the democrats plus four. i don't know. the timing of it, this is going to have to become public and visible and transparent for 72 hours. tomorrow, the next day we will probably see the documents. just to put it in context, we are talking about another 100 pages to the 2,000 pages. they're relatively modest changes to the senate bill but important changes. the senate bill did not do enough for affordability, we will add that. doesn't close the doughnut hole. we will add that. these things will get put together, and hopefully by saturday -- i don't know the exact timing, but we will vote on it when it is >> ready. >> is there anything in those
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fixes that are things we haven't been told to expect? do you think there are any surprises? is there anything being negotiated at this point? to what goes in this? >> i don't know how much is being negotiated. there are things that have been below the surface of this debate. you know, the senate bill was written essentially by small state senators. and so it doesn't do nearly what it should for poor people. in states like california or new york where we have robust medicaid programs, we have to make some changes. there are some things that have to be in it. we are not going scale back a woman's right to choose. that is not going to happen. if we are going to add a public option, which is something we're still fighting for, we need to see the senate do it. the house included it in our bill. the senate in its amendments. >> i thought the house has to do it first before -- >> the house has to initiate the bill, but there is nothing stopping the senate for putting something in. we are in a conventional legislative mode, actually. we have a bill. this bill can go to the senate and come back. a lot of us are exasperated with the phoniness of the senate.
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you know, they are signing letters they want the public option and durbin says i'm going to whip the public option, and they're pointing to nancy pelosi saying as the real problem. the real problem is the senate has to say we want to take this up and they haven't done so. but for the most part the bill that the president described and the one he talked about in the health care forum is the one we are going to consider. it ain't perfect, but boy is it better than the status quo. >> you mentioned the issue of abortion. we talked a lot on this show about congressman bart stupak. we raised the issue of how many people he actually speaks for. a lot of pro-life democrats are saying they can live with, strongly anti-abortion democrats saying they can live with the senate restrictions of abortion funding and they see it not expanding federal funding for abortion. do you think the stupak threat to essentially hang health reform on this issue of abortion is over? >> i don't know. maybe he is going to vote no. maybe he has colleagues who are
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prepared to say we are going to deny health care for 35 million americans, we are going to stop the rise of costs because we don't believe that simply banning abortions with the public taxpayer dollars is enough. look, i'm not happy about the nelson language. i think a lot of people should not be. i think it is a marginal setback we have to be concerned about. one thing, you know, a lot of us are over it. over this idea that two or three or four members of the house or senate are holding the rest of the place hostage. you know, unfortunately, congressman stupak, a friend of mine, is falling into that category. if you can't get by the idea we are going to have the hyde amendment whether or not you vote for the thing or not, restrictions are going to be there and you are prepared to deny the people of michigan health care on the altar on some philosophical argument? we are not going to get their vote. >> there is not a single abortion provider in his district. >> welcome to washington. put anything you want on my tab.
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>> excellent. i have to go now. on the right and some of the left, treasury secretary timothy geithner has been vilified for not preventing the -- and the massive bailout that followed. his responses were very candid given his position. the interview is next. i think you are going to want to see this. my doctor said most calcium supplements...
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aren't absorbed properly unless taken with food. he recommended citracal. it's different -- it's calcium citrate, so it can be absorbed with or without food. also available in small, easy-to-swallow petites. citracal. nor jim bunning is the kentucky republican senator who single handedly brought the senate to a standstill earlier this month, to stop people from getting extensions on unemployment. he withheld his consent and for a time personally held up all of president obama's nominees in the senate. now senator bunning has another one going. mr. bunning has placed holds on the nominations of assistant treasury secretary, the chief agriculture
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negotiator and the ambassador to the world trade organization. the reason, he says, is candy flavored cigarettes. really? canada has banned candy flavored cigarettes. duh. and senator jim bunning is holding up those high-level nominations because he wants a formal complaint filed against canada to try to make canada unban candy flavored cigarettes in the canadian parliament which itself may or may not be the name of a cigarette. canadian parliament. sorry. sorry. you took my eggs ! it's an "egg management fee." what does that even mean ? egg management fee. even kids know it's wrong to take other people's stuff. that's why at ally bank we don't eat away at your savings with fees. and we offer rates among the most competitive in the country. it's just the right thing to do.
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some stark and straightforward news on
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unemployment delivered today to members of the house appropriations committee by treasury secretary timothy geithner. secretary geithner called the nation's 10% unemployment rate unacceptable. he warned it may very well go up before it starts to go down next year. immediately after that testimony i got a chance to sit down with secretary geithner at the treasury. we started with jobs. mr. secretary, thanks very much for your time. appreciate it. so today on capitol hill you said essentially that the rest of the year looks tough in terms of unemployment. and you urged lawmakers to pass the new wall street rules, the new financial regulation. is there a connection between those two? are those two items connected? >> for the economy the most important things we pass is targeted support for growth and expansion and job creation. the president has proposed a series of measures to help small business, more money for state and local government to make sure teachers and firemen can stay on the job,
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support for infrastructure, energy retrofit. we think there's a very good case for a series of targeted measures to strengthen the expansion to turn into more jobs more quickly. the financial reform is very, very important. you have seen the devastating crisis, deeply unfair, brutally unfair. hurt millions of american families, hundreds of thousands of small businesses. we all feel a deep sense of responsibility and obligation to make sure we are fixing what was broken in this financial system and put in place tougher reforms, provide better protection for consumers and make sure we have financial system who can take these kinds of risks again. >> i want to talk policy but we have to talk about -- after health reform, a lot of democrats in the congress are looking forward to running on wall street regulation, new rules for wall street. with republicans mostly signaling that they will oppose
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most of them. democrats will say they are running against wall street. a lot of them are salivating at the chance to do that. your political image does not help them do that because you are seen as a wall street guy. do you think that image is unfair? >> first, i'm not -- i'm not a wall street guy. you know this. >> i know you are. people think you worked for goldman sachs, were a banker. >> just so the audience knows, i never worked for wall street. i spent every job i've had in life since i came into graduate school has been working as a public servant in government. i never worked for a bank. never run a bank. never worked for a hedge fund. at the new york fed i watched what financial crises do to innocent victims across the country and i feel a huge sense of perchl responsibility and obligation to make sure we are putting in place the reforms we need to create a more stable, safer, more fair system in the future and i'm working very hard to make sure we achieve this. i think this is a just war. i think it's a necessary and
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important thing to do. i think we have a deep obligation to do this. the president put out a sweeping package of reforms, strongest since the great depression, necessarily so because this was so damaging. the house passed a bill very close to what the president proposed. senator dodd put out a very good, strong bill. i do not think this is a democratic or republican thing. this is an american thing. i think you are going to see, when this gets to the senate floor, i think you will see a lot of support for this. i think it is very hard for people in washington to look their constituents in the eye and say we just had the worst financial crisis in generations but we couldn't find the will as a country to reform the rules of the game. i have more confidence in this country. we are going to see people in the end decide to be part of reform not part of resisting reform. >> i think that you are right on one condition and that is if people see these reforms and the actions of this administration and your actions in particular as being standing up for the american people against the
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predation of wall street and the banks. >> again, the great thing is they can look at what we proposed, what the president proposed, they can see those things and judge whether they look tough enough, fair enough, whether we got the balance right. we've got a very tough, strong package of reforms. >> why is the consumer federal protection agency inside the fed? why not a stand-alone agency? >> our view is it should be a stand-alone agency. what we propose met that basic test. the key thing is it have the resources it needs to do its job, have the authority to write rules that apply to everybody, not just to banks but to payday lenders, mortgage brokers, everybody who is in the business to provide credit to a consumer. we want the authority to enforce that system. you know what happened, we allowed this country to get to the point where there were a set of rules, they weren't tough enough, they existed and only enforced on banks. over time, what happened is a whole industry of other people
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could come in and provide credit to consumers, which effectively no constraints. it's an outrageous failure of government. the centerpiece of our reform is to make sure that never happens again. there is a clean set of rules, tougher rules for consumers, enforced fairly and evenly. >> what about this threshold that institutions that are smaller than $10 billion will not be subject to the same rules as they larger institutions? the more i look at payday lenders the more disgusted i get. i don't think there's any reason to say they are like loan sharks, i think they are loan sharks. >> i'm inclined to say it's much worse than you think. across our economy you had people who did terrible predation, abusive things and were left outside any effective set of constraints. we have to change that. the critical test is rules that apply to everybody enforced with people who know what they are doing. >> what is with the $10 billion threshold? institutions smaller than that
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are not going to be subject to the same rules. >> i can only tell you what the president proposed. the president proposed a very strong package of reforms enforcement. as this bill made its way through congress to find the number of votes to make it pass people have made some concessions. and, again, the tests we are going to use the president is going to use, does it have strong independent authority to infers them? not just on banks, not just large banks, nonbanking, consumer finance companies, payday lenders, mortgage services, mortgage brokers. the centerpiece of the terrible stuff that happened that cause sod much damage. but again, you know, our test should be and the test of the american people should be, they should watch carefully as these bills move through congress. you will see efforts to weaken them further. you will see amendments to protect individual types of consumer finance industries, to protect the banks from supervision, oversight, enforcement and we should all resist that. because -- >> there is an important
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prs dercht here. we passed the consumer financial protection agency through the house. it's in the senate right now. senator dodd introduced something a little different. republicans are not promising any votes. i know you say they might be there. but what has happened, like health care reform, is democrats made concessions, made the rules softer than what you and the administration proposed. in the health reform debate the administration went along with those concessions, ended up with something softer than if we had not been seeking those votes and we didn't get those votes, anyway. do you make the same mistake again? do you trade away this threshold? do you trade away the independents -- the literal independence of the cfpa in order to change these phantom republican votes or push -- >> we are going to try to get a very strong bill. i'm confident we will get a strong bill. we are spending a lot of time make sure we are listening to agencies to make a
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credible test of a strong bill. the president is committed to this. the american people are with us on this. we should have a strong hand. senator dodd is trying to balance -- he has a complicated job. he is trying to get a bill with enough votes to pass. of course, we want to give him as much support -- you heard the president say yesterday we are going to fight against efforts to weaken this and take every opportunity to strengthen it as it goes through the process. >> more of my interview with treasury secretary tim geithner ahead. we will talk about the bailout of wall street, the loans that bankers still aren't making and the bonuses they are. >> people are incredibly angry and they should be angry still. >> that is next this is good stuff. stay with us. just ahead. here, kitty! here, kitty!
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the economy is technically no longer in a recession. it is definitely not in a depression, a fact that a year and a half ago you might have won a bet or two by predicting. the economy is actually growing again. while the jobs numbers still stink, the more economic growth we get, the better chance we have of escape the gaping horrible maw of the financial meltdown in 2008 that almost killed the economy altogether. increasing number of people credit moves taken by the obama administration and his treasury secretary, a, there is a long way to go and, b, the awkward fact that secretary geithner was in the middle of the financial meltdown as president of the new york fed. he made a frank appraisal what is his fault, what is the system's fault and why you have every right to be stomping mad.
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from 2003 to 2008 you were the head of the new york fed and that was a time on wall street of untrammeled defying common sense, risk taking and deceit that almost destroyed the american economy. there's some credit to you and the administration for not having that happened, but where were you when it was happening in the first place? what do you wish you had done differently is it >> excellent question. important to start with the basic mistake. it is lacking consumer protection. what we did as a country, a tragic failure of government, we left vast swaths of the financial system with no oversight. okay? so pick your example. fannie, freddie, the major investment banks, lehman brothers, bear stearns, countrywide, indymac, aig, any example you want.
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you can take derivatives, any example you want and we left that swath of the financials without anybody in charge and accountable for overseeing those things. the fed had a very important responsibility as the supervisor of the nation's largest banks. the fed today did a very good job of trying to move early to bring order to derivatives markets, to make sure we were inducing these firms to make sure they were building stronger capital cushions but we did not do enough. i'm the first to admit we could have done a better job. we were very aggressive in new york. we made a lot of difference in new york. we could have gone further. the big mistake we made as a country is to allow a system to develop where you could get around those rules, build up a huge business with a huge amount of leverage, with no oversight, no transparency and that is what brought the system to the edge of its knees. if we hadn't made that mistake,
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this would have been a much more manageable crisis, less damaging to the american people. you are right to focus on the fed. the fed was the strongest and most able of the regulators around the world. the mistake the country made was not to provide broader authority to constrain risk taking across the entire system. if you do it on one part of the system the risk moves. it just moves. that is what happened over time. >> you move to more lawless neighborhoods. >> you had a parallel banking system emerge outside banks almost as large as what was done in banks, funded in a vulnerable way, very vulnerable to runs, with none of the protections we built after the great depression to constrain that. that was not the fed's mistake, but it was that mistake that brought the system to the edge of collapse because in those -- what happened was we faced, you know, the modern version of a classic run on the financial system. people withdrew their money as quick as they could.
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they came down with forceful brutal pressure on the rest of the system and the government didn't move early enough. that is what we are trying to fix and reform. we are trying to make sure we have as much authority to contain that kind of risk taking more broadly early. >> the authority you have is where i'm hung up and i'm still concerned about the fed now, i'm still concerned about your record at the fed. frankly. >> rachel, i'm happy -- i can tell you with a lot of knowledge, the stuff we were on right on early, the stuff we made a lot of difference on early, but i can also tell you -- and i know a lot about this where the fed was behind the curve and late the best example of that was the fed did not use its authority to write rules to provide better protection for consumers like in mortgages early. the chairman of the fed has said that openly. i agree with that. that is why we propose to take that authority away from the fed and give it to an agency and give it to people who wake up
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every day to think about one thing, how to protect consumers. >> that's getting at the crux of my worry, it's not just that the fed didn't have the authority in some cases and you see it, because the fed has done some things post-crash, pre-new rules that it could have done before. no statute has changed. it decided to exert pressure it didn't exert before. that makes me worry about the overall mindset of the fed. it is one thing to be a supervising agency of big banks. who you get along very well with and they're your board, all those things. >> the fed was tougher on banks. >> than to be a representative of the people against the banks. >> judge them by their record, okay? the fed was tougher on the banks than other supervisors. that is partly what produced countrywide. countrywide didn't like being subject to the tough regulation of the fed so it chose to become a thrift. the leverage built up outside of ed fed, because they were
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reasonably tough -- i'll give you another example. we messed up a lot of things in this country and we are living with the cost and will be aggressive with putting reforms in place. but an example, in all the major economies in the world outside of the united states, the banks system is dramatically larger as a share of the economy. banks are much more concentrated. far fewer banks dominate the entire industry. that's because, in those countries, they did not do a good job of constraining risk-taking by banks. we were not good enough at it, but the fed was better than supervisory peers, not good enough which is why we want to put in place these reforms. >> on the issue of the bailout, why not make help, why not make rescue contingent on reform is it why not say, okay, aig, here is your $180 million, or "x" firm here is your "x" billion, you are not going to give bonuses for the next five years, at least. you are not going to do any
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number of other things, and when reform comes around you are going to be onboard. at that point, you have maximum leverage. why not use it? >> let me walk back on this. you have been very good on this, but let me tell you what we did when i came into office. when i came into office my predecessor put investments of capital in banks representing 75% of the u.s. banking system. we moved quickly to force them to raise private money to replace public investment dollars to get that money back. and use it to meet the many challenges we face as a country still. we were tough and moved quickly and forcefully. we have achieved a huge improvement in base of cost of credit confidence in the system, and much lower costs than anybody anticipated. that is a very good thing because it means we have more resources as a country to meet the many challenges we inherited. >> though loans are still not at the level that anybody would want them to be at. >> absolutely. if you look at the cost of borrowing for small business for
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a family who wants to buy a house, buy a car, put their kids through college, cost of credit has come down dramatically because of what we did. we have done a very good job of running a very well-managed program that is in the interest of the average american. not just because they care about the cost of credit. but because, again, we faced a lot of challenges and didn't want to see their resources used unnecessarily. to benefit a bunch of big banks. >> people are mad to see the loans not being made and bonuses being paid. >> people are very angry. they should still be angry. we had a terrible failure of judgment that caused catastrophic damage to people who were totally responsible, didn't borrow beyond their means, and they're suffering because of the mistakes that other people made, and people should be angry. we hope anger turns into political will in the congress. the president proposed we put a $90 billion fee on banks over ten years so we can say to the american people they will not be exposed to a penny of loss of
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all the terrible things we had to do to step in to rescue this financial system that was burning. of course they are angry. they should be angry until they have more confidence the government is going to put in place reforms that will fix what is broken. they see more traction in all the things we're doing to try to bring growth back. >> the bonus issue specifically and i know it is not central to the financial system but it is central to how much political will there is to get things done in this administration. even on a host of things that have nothing to do with financial reform. >> first of all, the bonus thing is not what caused the crisis. you know, it was a crazy system. you could get paid for taking a lieutenant of rink and not be exposed to losing your compensation if you lose the bank a lot of money. it was a crazy way to run a system. it didn't matter to the crisis. we think it is very important as part of reforms to change the way these people are compensated. we proposed again two very simple things. >> you already gave them the rescue money before you proposed the changes.
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>> no. again, we came into office -- judge us by what we did. my predecessor had to do what he did. it was a panic, we were on the edge of collapse. he had to do the terrible thing of pushing a bunch of capital into the banking system. providing temporary guarantees. those emergency actions saved us from the great depression. that was necessary. we came in, forced them to replace that public money with private money as quickly as possible. they did it very, very quickly and that is good for us, good for everything you value because it gives us room to deal with the challenges we face. about compensation, though, what we are appropriation is a very simple thing. firms have to disclose to the public and allow their shareholders to vote on how they are paying their senior executives and proposing that the supervisors, the people in charge, the police in charge of supervising institutions actually enforce a set of standards designed to make sure these guys have money at risk, that it pays out over time. there are
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no golden parachutes. they are not insulated from the mistakes they made. those are powerful reforms. frankly there's not been a lot of progress to it. it takes the leverage legislation brings to bring that about. >> in terms of the overall politics here. the sort of the rap that you have gotten, i don't know if it is deserved or undeserved, you can make your case, you are a little allergic to populism. maybe that is in part because you feel like from your position as secretary of the treasury it is not appropriate to take that sort of tone from this office. i would love to hear your explanation for it. if, though, people do not believe that this administration and the government in general is on their side against predation from big firms, wall street, the result of that is that there's going to be a lot of people elected in november if they don't show up with pitch forks will have flaming torches. we are going to get very, very very populist very fast unless this administration takes a more populist tone. and people start to believe in
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it. because that is the mood of the country. >> i have a slightly different view. i think people are going to judge the president, their elected representatives in washington by what they do to make a difference in the lives of americans. so we are overwhelmingly focused on trying to make sure we are acting as quickly and forcefully as we can to make things better. this president moved with enormous speed and care and force doing incredibly important, difficult and in many ways unpopular things because they were necessary to save the economy from collapse and make sure we had an economy that was growing again. that is what people are going measure us by. if we don't focus on that every day we are going to be in a position where we are going to leave the economy much weaker, americans losing more faith in their government and that is what guides all the actions we are making. we are trying to focus on what is going to make the biggest difference as quickly as possible in things that matter to -- not just the basic lives
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of americans, but their confidence in the government again. their government failed them terribly. it's not just we leapt into the worst revegs in generation, but frankly an education system that did not do a fair job of educating our children. we saw a huge rise in inequality over time. the average american didn't see a rise in bisk living standard over a long period of time. we came into this with difficult, bad long-term challenges that governments have to fix. our test, what people should judge us by, what are we trying to achieve and how much are we achieving in terms of making these basics better. that is the essential obligation we have. >> secretary timothy geithner, you are a busy guy. thank you for your time. >> nice to see you. >> nice to see you. thank you. >> there are behind the scenes photos of the show's field trip to the treasury department at the maddow blog. online if you're so inclined to look at that sort of stuff. last night former republican
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congressman j.d. hayworth joined us as a guest. he accused us of messing up our research on his record. so today, in addition to visiting the treasury department, we also researched or research about j.d. hayworth the findings about our findings are just ahead. i'm very much looking forward to showing you the results. like 10, the way triscuit does, you always end up with something delicious. ♪ triscuit. weave some goodness.
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as we're finishing up, i mention i'm going to the bathroom more often. he checks it out. good thing. turns out... my urinary symptoms -- such as going frequently, trouble going, flow starts and stops... and going often at night -- are due to bph, also called enlarged prostate. he says over time, avodart has been shown to shrink the prostate, improve urinary symptoms, and reduce the risk of prostate surgery. only your health care provider can tell if your symptoms... are from bph and not a more serious condition... like prostate cancer. do not donate blood until 6 months after stopping avodart. tell your doctor if you have liver disease. rarely sexual side effects, swelling or tenderness...
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of the breasts can occur. avodart is for men only. women should not take or handle avodart... due to risk of a specific birth defect. today's the day to talk to your doctor... about your urinary symptoms and find out... if avodart is right for you.
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i don't know vladimir putin personally, but i feel like i know him better than i know most people, certainly better than other world leaders. we have gotten closer to him thanks to his proclivity of releasing unusual photos of himself. previously fishing topless. horseback riding, topless. swimming, topless. now telling pictures with the prime minister with his clothes on this time. and what clothes they are. yes. here is vladimir putin posing with a horse in the snow, awkwardly staring at it. here is mr. putin letting the horse sniff his ungloved hand and here he is on a completely different horse. i'm sad we didn't get a comment from j.d. hayworth.
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we hope mr. putin will be happy with his horses in sickness and in health. [ speaking native language ]
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♪ general david petraeus went to capitol hill today to testify about the progress of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. just in case it came up he had a ready answer to another question. >> do you believe don't ask, don't tell needs a thorough review? before action is taken? >> senator, my position is -- can i give my statement on that, sir? >> if -- we're short of time, but please go ahead. >> how long is that statement? >> about eight minutes, sir. >> no. no. >> after taking up a minute discussing whether or not the committee had eight minutes, the general decided he would just keep his answer short.
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>> senator, let me just answer that. i believe the time has come consider a change to don't ask, don't tell. >> that sentence generated frenzied headlines. this one at huffington post "petraeus says the time has come." >> i for one want to hear the whole eight minutes. general pe treat, we would love to have you 8 minutes, 18 minutes, 28 minutes. you could even mail us the statement and we would act it out. call us.
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on last night's show, i had a really good time talking with j.d. hayworth who is challenging john mccain in arizona. it's hard to get republicans to agree to come on the show. i was really happy he was here, even after he took a shot at said rachel maddow show staff. >> rachel, your researchers should have done a better job. >> now, we take that kind of allegation seriously. mr. hayworth alleged a number of times we got stuff wrong in our research. here was the first time. you were ousted by a democrat in 2006. by that point, people knew you for being one of congress's top recipients if not the top recipient of money from jack abram off. >> your information is incorrect. >> actually, my income was correct. on one list he wasn't listed
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first or third in terms of abramoff money, he was listed ninth. i was only the ninth biggest recipient of funds. >> if you really go back and take a look at the numbers, i ranked ninth in overall contributions. in fact, some other groups rated higher. >> groups. when he says groups, that's the giveaway. he was ninth on a list of everybody who got money. i only asked him about being a top recipient of abramoff money among members of congress. i was right,dy not have my facts wrong. >> in terms of your receiving money from abram off, your chief of staff in 2005, admitted it
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was linked to abramoff. others have listed you 1st, 2nd and 3rd. >> your researchers should have done a better job. >> my researchers did a great job, and i am one of my researchers. that new york times correction does not make mr. hayworth's case better, it makes it worse. you see here, the congressman received $101,000 donated by mr. abramoff and his family, indian tribes and a gambling cruise ship line he once owned. what the correction says is that while mr. hayworth took a don of jack abram off related money, they couldn't promise they counted all of it. take me on all you want, congressman. my researchers do and did a great job. they were right, anthony, tricia, you guys were right. and nothing provably true in
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print anywhere on earth mitigates how up to your eyeballs you were, which is in part why you lost your job in congress a few years ago. i also asked mr. hayworth about the comments he made to an orlando radio station sunday about gay marriage. >> you see the massachusetts supreme court when it started this move toward same sex marriage actually defined marriage as simply the establishment of intimacy. now, how dangerous is that? i mean, i don't mean to be absurd about it, but i could make the point of absurdity with an absurd point. i guess that would mean, if you really had affection for your horse, i guess you could marry your horse. >> try as we might, neither my mare nor i could find this establishment of intimacy phrase
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anywhere in the ruling which i brought up with mr. hayworth while i still had him here. >> what you said about the establishment of intimacy being the definition of marriage in massachusetts, i don't think it's true. >> you and i can have a disagreement on that. >> we don't in fact have a zbreenlt disagreement on that, mr. hayworth is just wrong. what he says is in the massachusetts court ruling is not there. it's something to look up, i looked it up, the ruling doesn't define marriage as the establishment of intimacy, it just doesn't. so themes the facts, what he said i got wrong, and weirdly what he said the staff on this show got wrong, we didn't get wrong. i am thankful he agreed to be on the show, i am honestly not sure, though, if there will be a round two. hey, mayor white. how you doing? great. come on in. would you like to see our new police department? yeah, all right. this way.
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tonight's moment of geek concerns pi day, which takes place every march 14th, 3/14, 3.14. it's become a kind of world nerd core holiday. mathletes find new and interesting ways to celebrate pi day. >> theresa miller, a 20-year-old studying to be a math teacher at the university of new mexico accomplished a feat involving pi, a hula hoop and a rubik's cube that you won't believe.
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>> 38.1452 -- 81255105. 2712101. 62117. >> yeah, and she completes the cube too. 450 places of pi, right? >> thank you, kent, i'm humbled. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you tomorrow night. until then, you can e-mail us. "hardball" is next. good night. go for broke, let's play hardball.

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